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Upgrading from 4G Nano to Cowon S9. Is my iBasso D2 neccessary?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My current rig is a 4G Nano with iBasso D2 and Westone 3 with UM56 eartips. I can definitely hear the difference in sound quality between amped and unamped with the Nano.

The S9 is supposed to be leaps and bounds better in sound quality. Should I keep the D2 in the system, or is it totally unnecessary? The Westone 3's don't require much amplification at all.
post #2 of 9
Scenario I: Cowon S9 doesn't have a line out. You wouldn't need D2 and it's not good to amplify it's headphone out. SQ seems to be top notch as per the reviews.

Scenario II: If you want to use the D2 with your PC/Mac as a USB DAC then you could just keep it.

Hope this helps...
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
It's not good to amplify a headphone out under any circumstance? Not even, for example, amping my Nano headphone out with the D2? I only have a LOD so I can't test the headphone out amped.
post #4 of 9
It's not worth it. If you like your W3's signature then there is no point in amplifying the headphone out on Cowon which seems to be excellent on it's own.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Essentially what I'm trying to decide is whether or not to send my LOD back for a change from its apple line-out to a 3.5mm jack so I can test between different setups.
post #6 of 9
I'm interested in this as well. My plan is to pair my S9/RE0 with a Pico Slim. Any S9 owners notice any improvements with a portable amp using the headphone out?
post #7 of 9
I have the s9 and will be getting an iBasso d4 later this week to pair with my Westone 3. I'll post my impressions on this combo, but I'd also like to hear from anyone who amps the headphone out of their Cowon in the meantime.
post #8 of 9
I have the S9 and I use my PK1s with it at times. I have to push the S9 to almost full volume and I don't listen to loud music, so if you want to drive a high-impedance set of phones to high volume, you might need an amp. With my Westones no amp is needed.
post #9 of 9
I disagree that amplifying the headphone output is a bad idea.

Ideally, I wouldn't do it, though there are circumstances in which it's completely acceptable. If your headphones are demanding enough (most full-size headphones will be) then you will find a noticeable improvement.

Then there's the issue of bass rolloff. The D2 and S9 suffer from it when low-impedance earphones are used. My listening tests (as well as dfkt's rmaa tests) confirm that rolloff is eliminated when amplification is present. We tested ours with Meier portable amps but I would expect other vendors amps to perform similarly.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Upgrading from 4G Nano to Cowon S9. Is my iBasso D2 neccessary?